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Taiwan Church News
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Taiwan Church News

3358 Edition

July 4 - 10, 2016

Editorial

 

PCT's Centennial Bookstore

 

As the number of Taiwan's substantial bookstore drastically declines within a decade, 400 bookstores are disappeared in 9 years' time, many measures like advertising the benefits of reading, increasing the reading population and etc are proposed to support a basic growth of substantial bookstore. To prevent a deteriorating reduction of those substantial bookstores and transform into a micro cultural center with local characteristics in communities, Ministry of Culture has started to finance them as a hub in promotion of reading habits, publication of new books with the writers and engagement in marketing.

The disappearance of substantial bookstore in society means a real change of the form of our daily lives. It tell the story that some of our habits and living space are flushed away in time. Social demands of reading still exists, but they have found another outlet and no more spend money and time in those substantial bookstores. When bookstores websites are burgeoning everywhere on the internet, digital reading becomes a mainstream and traditional libraries attract and maintain most of readers through their abundant and up-to-date resources, the space of substantial bookstore is naturally suppressed.

Some good old places, though, are nostalgic yet however they will be gone. For example, when the bright and sweet convenient stores were set up one by one around the corner at every local community in 1990s, the time of those old-styled grocery-stores which greeted us with human touches and allowed us to write IOU has come to an end not far away.

Traditional substantial bookstore has a similar crisis to close down under a new age of digital reading and e-commerce. Except following the tactics of online bookstores, digital reading companies, public libraries, or even developing second-handed books market via certain discounts as a gurantee buyback, the most suitable solution for a traditional bookstore to survive is to transform herself into a center cultural innovation: an imaginative combination of the bookstore's historical characteristics and local demands! Thus, an attractive and innovative new space could be created to offer the contents and experiences that on-line bookstore or public library could not offer.

PCT also possesses a traditional substantial bookstore - Taiwan Church Press(TCP) - over 132 years, with branch bookstores located in Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung. All PCT churches, though, are very generous to donate for TCP in annual July as a commemorative month for the ministry of words, the survival crisis of Taiwan's substantial bookstore is also fallen upon TCP's four major branch bookstores.

On July 12, the commemorative day of launching the publication of Taiwan Church News, an interior reconstruction will be imposed at the Tainan headquarter and bookstore of Taiwan Church Press. From underground up to the 2nd floor, this is an overhaul of the interior space, combining the historical development from China's Ching Dynasty, Japan's ruling period up to modern Taiwan and expecting to reinvigorate people's imagination about traditional substantial bookstore. The opening date of this brand new bookstore is scheduled on Oct 20, as the evening of this very date in 1895 was the time Rev. Thomas Barclay negotiated with the Japanese army for a peaceful entry into Tainan.

Oct 21 is not only a historical day, commemorating Rev. Thomas Barclay's successful negotiation resulting a peaceful entry of the Japanese army, but also a new start of TCP's Tainan bookstore. In order to expand our ministry of words into the fields of literature and culture, many new ideas created in space will be dedicated to the church and Taiwan society, including a mini-sized performance stage, decorative arts gallery and a new service auditorium. The bookstore will be transformed into a brand new art gallery with cultural innovations, historical records and literary imaginations. In the meantime, a fair space combining cafe, reading, musics, cultural goods and souvenir will be arranged to meet the customers' demand.

Of course, old bookstores fade away and closed up. But after a transforming revival, we will be capable to face the challenges of the next new century at a brand new space to assembly, share and proclaim. An renaissance of Chû-tin-tông a hundred years ago!

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3358 Edition

July 4 - 10, 2016

Headline News

 

Walk Across Taiwan, Rogue Pastor Arthur Hollands Reaches Out To The Youth And The Addicted

 

Reported and Photographed by Lin Jia-jing

 

Carrying a 80 pounds cross on his shoulder, Rev. Arthur Hollands, a sixty-five-year-old Japanese pastor, launched a 15 days evangelical mission of Walk Across Taiwan on July 4th at the plaza of Taipei's 101 building. This is an untypical evangelical ministry trying to reach out to the youth and the addicted. Rev. Hollands wished he could even go into the jail sharing the gospel with the prisoners.

Born in 1951, Rev. Hollands was born in a cross-nationality family with an American father(US marine) and a Japanese mother. When he was 20 years old, he returned back to US with his father. Though he was extraordinarily talented in wrestling and Japanese judo and got awarded with many trophies and titles, he was once lost in drugs and gang crimes. Thanks to his wrestling coach bringing him back to the church, Rev. Hollands was baptized at his 23-year-old and started his evangelical ministry after he went back to Japan. In 1990, he was officially ordained as a pastor by a San Diego church.

Except having preached to Yamaguchi-gumi, the largest mafia organization in Japan, Rev. Hollands spends 300 days each year at the streets of Shinjuku, Tokyo's downtown district, proclaiming the good news of Jesus. In 2012, Rev. Hollands started to walk across Japan on foot, from Hokkaido to Kyushu, putting a 40 kilograms cross on shoulder. He walked across Japan and Korea twice each in between 2012 and 2013. In April 2014, expecting to bring an evangelical revival for his fatherland, Rev. Hollands walked across USA in a 5,000 km journey from Santa Monica(California) to New York.

Mr Lin Jou-en, who was Rev. Hollands' main contact in Taiwan and an elder of Suan-lien Presbyterian church, revealed Rev. Holland's amazing stories: at first he walked across Japan, Korea or America just for repentance for his mistakes in youth, but it became more and more people joining with him. Once, there were over 20 people baptized in the river along his journey in cross.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3357 Edition

June 27 - July 3, 2016

Church Ministry

 

Appreciating His Translation Of The Bible Into Indigenous Paiwan Language, PCT's Officials Visit Rev. John Whitehorn In Cambridge UK

 

Reported by Umav

 

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of evangelical mission in the indigenous Paiwan area, three PCT officials including Rev. Kao Tien-tsai(Moderator of Paiwan Presbytery), Rev. Tjakanaw(General Secretary of Paiwan Presbytery) and Rev. 'Eleng Tjaljimaraw(PCT Associate General Secretary) paid a thanksgiving visit on June 18 & 19 at Cambridge UK to Rev. John Whitehorn, a missionary sent by Presbyterian Church of England serving in Taiwan from 1951 to 1970 and widely recognized as the pioneering translator of the Bible in the Paiwan language.

Mrs Elizabeth Whitehorn, wife of Rev. Whitehorn, said to the Taiwan visitors that up to date Rev. Whitehorn still kept a habit of reading the Paiwan Bible on every Sunday. Laughter and joy were burst out in the house of Rev. Whitehorn when he exchanged in a fluent Paiwan language with three PCT officials.

During the conversation, Rev. Kao Tien-tsai was deeply touched when he heard his mother tongue was so fluently spoken by his most revered missionary. He also praised Rev. Whitehorn's Paiwan language was so classical and elegant comparing with his tribal people.

Rev. Tjakanaw said he was very excited to pay a visit to Rev. Whitehorn and learned he was very healthy and concerned about the ministry for the Paiwan people. Rev. Tjakanaw recalled, when he was a child, how he was hugged by Rev. Whitehorn and carried by his motorcycle among the Paiwan villages in mountains.

In the morning on June 19, together with Rev Whitehorn and his families, PCT officials attended the Sunday service at St. Columba's Church. After the service, a site visiting was arranged to see the name list of missionary wall within the church. It is amazing to learn that there had been St. Columba's Church's missionaries sent to Taiwan since 1907.

Rev. Kao Tien-tsai expressed, after he came back to Taiwan, he would share with his colleagues about Rev. Whitehorn's missionary devotion and spirit, which he learned in this UK visit, expecting to keep the Paiwan languages alive, more evangelical workers trained and the goal of new doubling movement achieved.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Rev. John Whitehorn(center) with his wives and families were photographed with three PCT officials on St. Columba's Church on June 19, 2016.

Photo by Umav

 
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Taiwan Church News

3357 Edition

June 27 - July 3, 2016

Editorial

 

Flying Is Not A Disease

 

Recently a friend of mine, who was sent by his company to work in Germany, posts on his personal Facebook a lot of funny and interesting photos and articles, which were so different from what we have seen in our daily lives here in Taiwan. Another day, this friend of mine posted a photo of an empty broad office and noted with a sigh: "A really good job is off duty at 4:00 p.m. and make a big office empty at 5:00 p.m.!"

As Taiwanese is traditionally a hard-working people, which see hardship as natural and recognize loyalty as obligatory, it is no wonder nowadays young men are blamed as "the generation of strawberry" and asked to "take tough adversity as good medicine". But, after seeing the photo of "a duty-off at 4:00 p.m. and an empty office at 5:00 p.m." in an advanced German, Taiwanese might be surprised to learn a progressive and abundant society could be achieved without even taking any formidable measures via "blood, sweat and tears".

The reason why the European developed countries still hold dear their people's rights and benefits in labor, in spite of paying the price of an explicit cost increase in production under a strict legal regulation and assurance of human rights, is that they have recognized the value of "life is not work only"!

Overtime work after duty-off is not only a source of misfortune, but also will damage the human health and distort the relationships between the employed and the employers, parent and children and etc, so the rights and benefits of the employed is a necessary cost of the employer allowing no discount! And all these consensus between the employed and the employers could be followed only through an intermediate legal implementation by the government.

Last week, via a legal strike in big scale, a new page of history in Taiwan's labor movement was inscribed by a labor union of China Airline Company. After this historic strike, Taiwan society learned a lesson that the labor union, instead of playing a cheerleader for the employers, should speak out for the employed when they are unfairly treated. As to the traffic inconveniences incurred during the strike, people showed their more sympathetic support and understanding.

Against the strike event in the past, there was a widespread and stereotyped reaction, instinctively sprung from those who were also employed, intimidating the protesting labor workers: "Quit the job if any complaint!" Therefore, there is a disheartening but vividly descriptions of the minds of those schizophrenic employed ones as "Birds in the cage think flying outside is a disease!".

In fact, an extra working hours of Taiwanese labor has always scandalously renown around the world. In the past years, though the cases of labor death due to overwork have occurred in the rise, many employer unions still loudly insist Taiwan's working hours are too short to compete with other countries. Some employers even claim that inhibiting labor's overwork is getting rid of their chances to earn money! Such an exploitative mindset of Taiwan employer reminds us of those shameless greedy capitalists in modern colonial capitalism.

Facing the overwork issue of Taiwan society, our traditional pride as a hard-working people needs to be changed. A recovery of the labor rights means to restore his/her dignity as a person. In Europe, there are so many examples to prove that national competitiveness in economics have nothing to do with long working hours and/or lower wages! Taiwan's labor force has to believe "Flying Is Not A Disease!'

 
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Taiwan Church News

3357 Edition

June 27 - July 3, 2016

Headline News

 

Celebrating Keng-Sim's Publication For 20 Years, TCP Turns Off Electric Light To Care Our Green Earth

 

Reported by Chen Yi-hsuan

 

At 8:00 p.m. in the evening on June 22, the next day of summer's extreme, there was a prayer meeting celebrating Ken-Sim's 20 years' incessant publication at the arcade of Tainan bookstore of Taiwan Church Press(TCP). Except a classical oil-lamp in solar battery lightening at the prayer meeting and a shining cross driven by pedal electricity standing above TCP, the electric lights of the whole TCP building were switched off. This is a moment that the staff of TCP and some Tainan citizens pray and act together to take care of our green earth!

Since 1996, the incessant publication of TCP's Keng-Sim weekly has reached an amazing 20 anniversary this year and now it is the most circulated Christian material in Taiwan with 180 thousands copies per week. Keng-Sim weekly is offered free to church, hospital, community, school and individual person, inspiring people with a genuine life story to warm up their hearts and save their souls.

Rev. Fang Lan-ting, president of TCP, expressed that the point of this payer meeting did not aim to be like a ritual religious gathering, but to invite more citizens to take care of our green earth together and become a good house keeper for God. Through switching off the electric light in the evening and feeling the inconveniences of lives without electricity, those desperate needs of the poor and the marginalized might be illuminated to us, said Rev. Fang.

Rev. Chang Li-fu, former president of TCP, was also invited to share the genesis story of Keng-Sim weekly. Due to most churches' weekly report then caring about the internal affairs within church wall only, an inspiring idea occurred as "Why not share our witness and blessings of God's grace to more people around us, if some kind of evangelical pamphlets could be attached or inserted in these routine weekly church reports", recollected Rev. Chang. After recruiting two devoted elders to offer for three year's printing and editing, Keng-Sim weekly officially launched in 1996 and kept serving Taiwan society until now!

Translated by Peter Wolfe

With the classical oil-lamp lightening, symbolizing "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path"(Psalm 119:105),  Rev. Fang Lan-ting blessed the audience attending the prayer meeting commemorating Keng-Sim's publication for 20 years.

Photo by Chen Yi-hsuan

 
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Taiwan Church News

3356 Edition

June 20 -26, 2016

Church Ministry

 

Sharing God's Accompanying Love And Blessings, A Fair Of Second-Handed Goods Was Held By Jifong Church

 

Reported by Simon Lin

 

To share God's accompanying love and blessings, a fair of second-handed goods was held by Jifong Presbyterian Church at the night market around Taichung's Chaoyang University of Technology (CUT) on June 18.

Except delicious local dishes and exciting games with barricades were presented to serve the visitors, many second-handed electronics equipment, clothes and daily utensils were exchanged with a very low price in the fair.

Bringing their cheerfully hopping grandchildren, many grandpas and grandmas came to the fair to find something useful in their daily lives and they were all blessed back home happily with their favorites, especially with a free copy of PCT's famous evangelical magazine - "Keng-Sim" weekly!

Rev. Chou Chi-heng, pastor of Jifong Church, remarked that he himself, being once a CUT alumnus long time ago, was really blessed enough for being able to come back serving Jifong Church after his graduation from the seminary four years ago.

As the campus ministry in CUT was one of the initial visions of establishing Jifong Church, Rev. Chou had also endeavored to recruit CUT students to form a fellowship in the church when he started his ministry. Up to now, having accompanied several students to accomplish their 4 years' campus lives, there were about 20 college students kept attending the "Fruits Fellowship" in Jifong Church.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

One of the scenes about the fair of second-handed goods.

Photo by Simon Lin

 
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